At The Village of St. Edward, chef-prepared meals are tailored to the culinary desires of residents—and this food does not disappoint

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L-R: Christine Tackett, Director of Dining Services in Fairlawn and Sarah Lane, Executive Chef.

By Patricia Nugent

“You are what you eat.”

This is one of the rare proverbial sayings that’s actually true.

An abundance of research suggests your diet plays a major role in your physical health and longevity, as well as mental health and mood.

You also cannot discount the enjoyment factor. It’s meaningful to look forward to—and be grateful for—every meal.

At the faith-based, not-for-profit Villages of St. Edward, the residents are raving about the culinary program.

Will Henry, Director of Dining Services in Green with Becky (left) and Barbara.

Meet two foodie fans Barbara Meyer, and Becky Carter.

“Every meal is delicious and well-received,” says Barbara. “My personal favorite is the daily soup choice. It’s always homemade and scrumptious. Each day it’s something different throughout the month, and not your run-of-the-mill varieties. We enjoy carrot soup and asparagus soup, perfect this time of year.”

She notes that the staff goes out of their way to make healthy and tasty dishes, and that they also go out of their way when serving them.

“The whole experience is wonderful,” says Barbara. “I always look forward to coming down for dinner. They go the extra mile to celebrate special days, too. For Valentine’s Day, the chef prepared an elaborate dessert spread with chocolate cakes and chocolate-covered strawberries.”

The Village of St. Edward is soon to kick off a new cooking program where a resident’s favorite recipe is filmed like a cooking show, with the different steps.

Becky says she appreciates the “special flair” the cooks tap into to elevate their meals, including things such as a waffle bar with toppings.

“The meals are healthy and delightful,” she says. “I’ve lost 20 pounds since moving here, and I really needed to. There are also many opportunities to exercise that I take advantage of.”

For the record, the ladies’ favorite dishes are liver and onions for Barbara, and Brussels sprouts with onions and bacon for Becky.

What’s all the Buzz About?
To uncover the “secret sauce” behind the dining at Villages of St. Edward, we caught up with its Corporate Director of Dining Services Thomas Bright.

“Our mission is to be responsive to residents’ tastes and serve as close to a scratch menu as possible, loaded with fresh, seasonal ingredients,” he says. “If a resident doesn’t have a taste for the entrée we serve for dinner, there’s a full alternate menu to choose from.”

“We also offer a tableside dining experience. This includes fresh meals prepared in the dining room like pasta stations, stir fry stations and omelet stations, to name a few.” Per Thomas, “We bring the kitchen to the front of the house.”

Their Own TV Show
Thomas reports they’re soon to kick off a new cooking program where a resident’s favorite recipe is filmed like a cooking show, with the different steps.

“Residents can watch it live or on TV in their apartments,” he explains. “Then that meal will appear on our menu. This makes sure residents feel involved. We plan to shoot the show monthly.”

He’s quick to credit his incredibly creative and hard-working staff for programming and meal ideas. “They care about what they do and it shows,” he says.

A Little VSE Backstory
The original location of the Villages of St. Edward was founded in Fairlawn by Akron’s Dominican Sisters in 1964, as a Catholic home for the aging. Since then, the campus has evolved to include facilities for independent living, as well as a number of options for supported and assisted living, including a rehabilitation and nursing center for round-the-clock care and memory care units. Village locations in Green and Wadsworth opened in 2019 to offer rustic, home-like accommodations for independent and assisted living, and memory care. Today the communities, which serve nearly 700 residents and their families, are open to all faiths.

Want to taste all the Village’s Dining Program has to offer? Visit us for a tour and a meal!

The Village of St. Edward communities are located in Fairlawn, at 3125 Smith Road, 330-668-2828; Green, 3813 Fortuna Drive, 234-294-0010; and Wadsworth, 880 Main Street, 234-217-8735. There are no long-term contracts and residents will not be asked to leave if they run out of funds. For more information, go to